HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii made a short side trip a long day for
Michigan State (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 4 AP).
Michigan State, the first member of the preseason Top Ten to
lose this season, was hampered by poor shooting and leg cramps. The
Spartans stopped off on Oahu on the way to Maui Invitational that
starts Monday and will see them play three games in as many days.
It was the biggest home win for the Rainbow Warriors (1-0) since
they beat No. 2 Kansas in the finals of the 1997 Rainbow Classic.
And the crowd of 8,802 got louder as the lead got larger.
Lojeski, a junior college transfer playing in his first Division
I game, was 6-for-8 from 3-point range and his last one capped a
14-2 run that gave Hawaii a 70-52 lead with 6:03 left.
Maurice Ager had 16 points for the Spartans, coming off their
fourth Final Four appearance in seven years. But he was one of four
Michigan State players affected by leg cramps.
Paul Davis, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds, left the game for
a second and final time with cramps with 13:27 to play. Ager,
Shannon Brown and Drew Neitzel all had to leave the game at some
point because of the cramps. Brown had to be removed on a stretcher
with 6:36 left because of the intense pain.
The cramps so affected the Spartans that for a good portion of
the final 10 minutes there were four freshmen on the floor at the
Hawaii led by as many as 14 points on the way to a 39-32
halftime lead. The Spartans got within 56-50 with 10:44 to go on a
5-0 run, but Hawaii looked a lot like Michigan State teams of
recent years in response.
Bobby Nash banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out to
start the 11-0 run. At one point, Hawaii missed three straight
shots but kept possession as the ball went out of bounds. Offensive
rebounding has always been a trait of the Spartans, but it was the
Rainbow Warriors who came up with 27 second-chance points in this
Lojeski hit two 3s to close the run and the celebration was on
Hawaii finished 10-for-24 from 3-point range, while the Spartans
were 5-for-18. Ager finished 1-for-7 from beyond the arc and Brown
The win was the 300th at Hawaii for coach Riley Wallace and it
improved the Rainbow Warriors to 2-0 all-time against Michigan
The Spartans dropped to 10-6 all-time in the state of Hawaii and
they have the three in Maui next week.
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